Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee said Monday he will retire at the end of the 116th Congress, on January 3, 2021. Walden was chairman of the committee from 2017 until Democrats reclaimed control of the House early this year.
In a statement to supporters, Walden said he was confident he could win reelection and “that a path exists for Republicans to recapture a majority in the House, and that I could return for two more years as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
But I also know that for me, the time has come to pursue new challenges and opportunities,” he added, saying he would “close the public service chapter of my life” and not run for any other office, reported The Washington Post.
Wireless Infrastructure Association President/CEO Jonathan Adelstein said Walden has been one of Congress’s foremost leaders on broadband deployment. “His commitment to innovation and U.S. wireless leadership is irreplaceable,” said Adelstein. “As Chairman and as Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, he worked tirelessly to streamline the siting process for wireless infrastructure, having a huge impact on the success of 4G and setting the table for 5G deployment. We wish Rep. Walden all the best in his retirement. He’ll be sorely missed.”
USTelecom President/CEO Jonathan Spalter said, “Walden has shown a commitment to connectivity and practical, bipartisan solutions to bring the power and promise of broadband to more Americans, including legislation on mapping, stopping illegal robocalls, and increasing broadband infrastructure, especially in rural America. USTelecom members thank him for his service and leadership.”
Former Senator NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith said he was lucky enough to serve with Walden in both the Oregon legislature and in Congress. “I can honestly say he is one of the finest public servants I’ve ever known. Greg’s career has been defined by success — as a committed local broadcaster, as a bipartisan political bridge builder, and as a brilliant legislator,” said Smith. “Congress is a better place because of Greg Walden, and I’m certain he will make a positive difference in whatever path his future may hold.”
October 29, 2019